With expensive brand-name tents costing hundreds of dollars and bargain tents only around $50, it is harder than ever to decide which tent will work best for you. The only real determining factor is how you will use the tent. However, no matter what your preferred camping adventure style is, there are a few tips for buying the ideal camping tent.
Consider the tent size you need. While each tent does state on the labeling how many people the tent can sleep, the higher this number goes, the more inaccurate it seems to be. For the most part, a tent that is rated as a four-person tent or larger will only fit the maximum number of people suggested if you sleep shoulder-to-shoulder or camp with small children. Although a small tent size would be uncomfortable in most situations, in the biting cold winter months, this feeling of being packed in like sardines equates to warmth. Therefore, as a rule of thumb, for summer-only camping with more than two people, buy a tent that will hold up to three more people than you are planning to sleep in the tent. For cold-weather camping and camping alone or as a pair, opt for the suggested size listed on the packaging.
Use the tent classification system to your advantage. Every tent is rated either 3-season or 4-season. Knowing the difference between these two types of tents can save you a lot of money. Ultimately, the 3-season tent is the recommended choice for most campers, not only because these are typically less expensive but also because these tents work well from spring through fall. The only downside to the 3-season tents is that they do not sustain heavy rains and winds. A 4-season tent, on the other hand, is a heavy-duty and well-insulated tent meant predominately for winter use. Although the name and price suggests that it can be used year-round, the 4-season tent is often too hot to tolerate any other time of the year. Often, year-round camping fans will need to purchase two tents, one with each classification.
Ease of Use
Do not forget to consider how difficult the tent will be to assemble. Few things are more frustrating while camping than wrestling with your tent for half the day. Save yourself the hassle and buy a single-room dome tent. These tents usually go up in a matter of minutes by threading two long poles through a few loops on the top of the tent. Cabin tents and tent suites should be reserved for the tent connoisseurs and experts.
Article Written By Heather Rutherford
Heather Rutherford has enjoyed writing professionally since 2004. Her articles have appeared in ModernMom.com, DailyLife.com, ParentsHut.com, Trails.com and On-the-News. She also works intimately with several small businesses to prepare business plans and other marketing materials. Rutherford is seeking an Associate of Arts in business from North Idaho College.